In the national post there is a story about how Gossip Girl is almost entirely an online phenomenon. The full story is here but highlights include:
If you judged the show by online presence alone, it would rank with American Idol, Lost and other top-rated programs; indeed, at the time of writing, three Gossip Girl episodes were in the Top 10 on iTunes (U. S. only). But offline it flounders, hovering around 2.5 million viewers per episode.
“It’s partially that the people who love Gossip Girl tend to be the kind of people who are more vocal on the internet than other people,”
This has left a lot of people wondering what is going wrong???I don’t have all the answers but I’m gonna go ahead and go with what I like to call my Cory Kennedy theory.
I grew up in Davenport, Iowa and I’ve spent the last 6 years primarily in Los Angeles. The things people think are “hip” are obviously very different in those 2 places.
When I moved to LA at 16 I thought being rich meant you wore all Abercrombie and Fitch and had a new jeep grand cherokee. Keep in mind I was pretty well traveled and informed amongst most of my peers yet I had no idea what a Balenciaga bag was and would have valued a Panerai in the same ballpark as a Fossil watch.
This might not make any sense just yet, but the concept of “wealth” is a huge theme on Gossip Girl and in the real world as well. In major cities (San Francisco, New York, LA, Chicago, Paris, London, etc.) kids come up to me and ask me if I know “Cory Kennedy” on the regular. She’s a fashion icon no doubt and it’s been amazing to watch her blow up, she’s always been a sweetheart and she deserves all the success in the world. That said when I play in cities like Atlantic City, NJ or Jacksonville,FL (cities that more acccurately reflect the bulk of America) kids constantly ask me if I know Hanna Beth and Audrey Kitching. It’s an interesting thing really, because all of these girls are popular because of their fashionista status. And while their age, location, musical tastes, and friends are very similar their fan demographics are pretty different.
It seemed weird at first, but I think the comparison of the Cory Kennedy brand and the Gossip Girl brand work. They both have a very select but very passionate following for a lot of the same reasons. I think wealth and some of the knowledge that comes from bigger cities, is the only thing holding back Gossip Girl from doing better in the ratings. What both of these brands gain from portraying exclusive lifestyles might be the same thing that holds them back from super crossover appeal…
Herein lies the same fault that every “exclusive” brand has to overcome. The bulk of Cory’s fans live in major metropolitan areas and similarly can identify with Gossip Girl on a lot of levels. These people go to Hyde and Beatrice, shop at Bendels and Maxfields and understand that the Balenciaga bag Blair Waldorf or Cory is carrying is fucking dope. On the other hand most of america is much like naive Iowa me, they don’t see a Ostrich Salvatore Ferragamo handbag. They see a yellow bag.
This might not look like a lot on the surface but I think a lot of people (myself included) watch things and idolize people because it gives us a chance to fantasize about a lifestyle we’d like to attain. If you can’t comprehend the lifestyle Gossip Girl is conveying why are you gonna watch? The plots aren’t any different than any boy meets girl high school drama 90210,OC, whatever show. The only real difference for me is that these people are doing things that I would enjoy doing (and sometimes do haha).
So if only a few people understand the show and identify with it, why is it getting so much attention?
This question has a million answers but one might be that, the same people who can identify with Cory and Gossip Girl are a small but powerful bunch. Obviously they are very passionate about the things they are into and use their “big city” power to get really amazing press for the things they like. This however doesn’t always turn into results for the brands they want to push, sometimes the concepts conveyed by their icons and their tv shows (Gossip Girl, Freaks and Geeks, Arrested Development) just don’t reverberate with the rest of the world.
I sincerely believe that if gossip girl made their characters more relatable on the surface (meaning places they visit, clothes they wear, names they drop) it would be doing a lot better in the ratings, that said I would have zero interest in the show. The only reason I give a fuck is because this show deals with events and places that I deal with on the regular.
This is of course why American Idol is the biggest show in the US and Gossip Girl gets shitty ratings. I just think that most of America understands rhinestone skulls and graphic tees, and really doesn’t get The Virgins and Philip Lim.
Does any of this shit really matter? Why do you think Gossip Girl is getting shitty Ratings? People kept asking me to actually “write.” Well I just wrote, should I go back to posting dumb youtube videos? lol